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Thread: Holly and the puppy

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Holly and the puppy

    Zack is a 14 week old terrier mix foster puppy and Holly is our five-year old Goldendoodle. Holly loves puppies and becomes their surrogate mom after the puppies mother weans them and no longer has interest in them. Holly is gentle, even when a puppy is rambunctious...
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    Holly and the puppy
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    Holly and the puppy
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    Holly and the puppy
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    Holly and the puppy
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    Holly and the puppy

    One of the reasons I shot this series is that I think Holly's interaction with puppies is wonderful.

    Secondly, I wanted to show some friends on my doodlekisses.com site that you don't need an excessively expensive flash to get good pictures. These were shot with my old 420EX flash which I have had for over ten years; bounced and modified with my trusty Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro. The 420EX sells used on eBay for between $80 and $90 U.S. Dollars. Although it doesn't have master capability or manual exposure capability; it is a very capable flash which is E-TTL capable and has high speed sync plus slave capablity.

    Additionally, except for the quantum less capable Canon 270EX; the 420EX is the lightest of the Canon line of E-TTL flashes designed for SLR use...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 8th May 2013 at 02:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Very nice series. Holly needs the bangs cut, we can't see her eyes.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Absolutely brilliant, Richard. All us 'doggie people' will be sending the link to this thread around all our friends.

  4. #4

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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    A great series Richard. What I like most is the lighting, it is really cool.

  5. #5
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Ah! we got a Goldendoodle pup coming in July/August. Will be trained to become a therapy dog. So there will be more puppy pics coming here as well!

    On a photographic note, I like how the lighting is looking on Holly's coat.

  6. #6

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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    These are so sweet, a job well done, both the photos and the puppy nanny! I don't see any flash shadows at all, nicely done.

  7. #7
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Very nice series. Holly needs the bangs cut, we can't see her eyes.
    Yes, I realized that her bangs were hiding her eyes when I shot the images. In fact she totally needs a trip to the groomer. Holly's bangs are always a problem when shooting. She has deep set, very dark, eyes. I tried to get the lowest angle possible so I would see as much of her eyes as possible. I once tried to trim her bangs myself and did a terrible job!

    However, this wasn't a setup series. I always have a camera handy for when the dogs do something interesting or funny and just grabbed these shots off the cuff.

    From Mike of Lancaster:
    "On a photographic note, I like how the lighting is looking on Holly's coat."
    From Nat:
    "I don't see any flash shadows at all, nicely done."
    From Andre:
    "What I like most is the lighting, it is really cool."

    The lighting could not be more simple. I always have my camera set up and on a counter in my hall. I have the camera in single shot mode, ISO 320 (for this type of grab shot) and have a flash unit on the camera along with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro attached. I have the camera in programmed exposure mode which I consider optimum for run and gun situations. My favorite lens for the pooch shoots is the 70-200mm f/4L IS! In fact this lens competes neck and neck with my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS as my favorite all around lens.

    This time it I had the trusty old Canon 420EX on the camera. I like the old flash because it is light in weight but quite capable (with the exceptions of no manual and no master capability). However, all my flashes are old (I also have a 550EX and a 320EX) but, as long as they function, I am happy with them. The flash was pointed straight up at the ceiling and I was sitting in a chair to get a low angle (my arthritis and knee replacements preclude a lot of bending and kneeling).

    The 420EX E-TTL kept the white portions of the puppy from blowing out.

    Bounce flash will eliminate/reduce shadows in back of the subjects and the FilpIt reflector portion of the Flash Diffuser Pro will help pump some light straight forward.

    I had the FlipIt reflector of the Flash Diffuser Pro pointed straight up which provides the softest style of lighing. The reflector articulates and I might have benefitted from tilting it forward at more of an angle to pump a little more light into Holly's eyes to fill in the shadows caused by her bangs. However, it might have been too much light for the white portions of the puppy's coat and occasionally when I have the FlipIt reflector tilted at an extreme forward angle, I get the "blue eye" reflections from the flash hitting the dog's retina and bouncing back.

    I will bounce my flash both from on camera and using a Stroboframe flash bracket. However, I usually have my "ready camera" set up without the bracket since it takes up far less room on our hallway counter and looks less intrusive.

    I have mentioned this before that my wife is a "neat-nick" and when things are not in their proper place she is really disturbed. She has however, "bitten the bullet" regarding having a set-up ready camera on the counter in my hall because she realizes that many shots like these will be missed if I have to unpack and set up a camera...

    Mike: Congratulations on your upcoming doodle! Doods make great therapy dogs as well as the most wonderful companions. Holly did not quite enjoy her therapy training because I started her too young (6-months). However, she has become a "therapy dog" for our small dog rescues. Many of them have been beaten up by larger, more aggressive, dogs while they were strays or even in the shelters. Holly restores their trust and it is not long before they are sleeping with her. The small dogs leave our foster care a lot more adapted to living with other dogs and with people.

    Holly and the puppy

    If you are not familiar with www.doodlekisses.com, I recommend that you visit the site. Doodlekisses is the doodle equivalent of CiC for photography and is a fun site with a wealth of information.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 8th May 2013 at 03:24 PM.

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Adorable...! Nice photos, and #6 is especially special.

  9. #9
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Richard, I always enjoying seeing your dog photos. Thanks for sharing the photos and the flash information.

  10. #10

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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Thank you Richard,

    I still have a lot to learn about flash photography and this sort of information is so helpful and informative.

    Thank you for the time!

  11. #11
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    Looks like Holly is doing great as a therapy dog for other little ones!

    Thanks for taking the time to detail how you did this. Always good to learn some details of how images were created.

  12. #12
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Holly and the puppy

    This is Zack (image left) with his sister (brown) and his brother (black & white) when they were younger...
    Holly and the puppy

    This is Katie (Maltese + Bichon Friese mix) who is the mother of the three puppies. I would expect that daddy's genes were pretty powerful.
    Holly and the puppy

    The puppies look nothing like their mother!

    Mom and sister have been adopted into furever homes and Zip and Zack are waiting for their new families to come along...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 9th May 2013 at 04:44 PM.

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